Using Mobile Technology for Problem Need Identification
in School-aged Children Environment
Gisli THORSTEINSSON1, Andrei NICULESCU2,3
1 University of Iceland,
v/Stakkahlid, 101, Reykjavik, Iceland
2 Spiru Haret University,
13 Ion Ghica Street, Bucharest 3, Romania
3 I C I Bucharest
(National Institute for R & D in Informatics)
8-10 Averescu Blvd.
011455 Bucharest 1, Romania
Abstract: This paper attempts to examine the value of using smartphones as a notebook (SN) in young students’ homework to support their ideation skills. Participating case study students easily made use of the SN at home for recording problems and needs (PN) as well as initial solutions they had identified in their environment. The study has proven that the SN is an important tool that also supported communication and collaboration with parents. Furthermore, it was an important media in transporting homework to school and a great help in starting off lessons. Moreover, the SN increased the students’ interest for their homework, as they found it practical and easy to use. When the SN was used as a problem-needs identification tool it activated the students’ ideation at the initial state of their ideation. The SN also enabled younger students to generate the content of their coursework and thus improved the home-school connection.
Keywords: Problem-need identification (PNI), ideation, Smartphones, schoolwork.
CITE THIS PAPER AS:
Gisli THORSTEINSSON, Andrei NICULESCU, Using Mobile Technology for Problem Need Identification in School-aged Children Environment, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 21 (4), pp. 431-438, 2012. https://doi.org/10.24846/v21i4y201209
Fast progress in information and communication technologies has supported production of advanced mobile devices. Such devices are commonly used by students from different grades or age groups. It is important during the design of modern educational context to include mobile devices that are capable of data transfers and accessible from everywhere. Using mobile devices can enable students to record information in their home environment with a view to using it as a source for their school work. The information can easily be accessed both at home and in lessons at school.
In this research smartphones were used by students instead of conventional notebooks to support their ideation. Notebooks have been used by many inventors, designers, engineers and scientists, such as Edison, da Vinci, Jefferson, Einstein and Tesla (Grisson & Pressman, 2000). They used them to record their problem-needs identifications, initial ideas and results from observations.
Such a notebook offers users to keep track of all ideas that pop up during the day. If we don’t record them, they will be forgotten. Some of them might look trivial to us, as others look very impressive and valuable. However, all of them might have the potential to become something more. One of the biggest opportunities such a notebook gives is to allow ideas to be forgotten for a while and be accessible later. A smartphone can also be used in a modern school context as a notebook to support communication and collaboration during students work. It can, furthermore, be a great help in starting off school work based on students ideation.
A notebook is not a legal document to enable protection of new ideas. However, it is valuable, in this context, as it offers a chronological record of a new idea (an invention or design) and its reduction to practice. Each entry must be signed and dated, by a witness. The witness should not be someone with a conflict of interest, but a member of an official institution. If an inventor or a designer ever has to go to court to prove up on a new idea, then the witness would be called to the stand to testify that the signature is theirs and they signed that page on that date.
The design of the smartphone application used in this research (see image 2) was based on observations of young students recording ideas. They seemed to be at ease drawing small basic pictures of the ideas using a specific pen, in the way that they could have the whole picture within their range of vision at the same time, just as they see the idea in their mind’s eye. With the smartphone they were also able to take photographs or simply record a verbal description of the need or problem they had identified. They could access their ideas in lessons and share online.
The paper will first look into the literature of Problem-Need Identification (PNI) and ideation. Subsequently, the authors define the research methodology and report the results. Then, they discuss the results and make their conclusions.
- BREDO, E., Reconstructing Educational Psychology: Situated Cognition and Deweyian Pragmatism. Educational Psychologist, Vol. 29(1), pp. 23-25, 1994.
- CLAPHAM, M. M., The Development of Innovative Ideas through Creativity Training. In The International Handbook on Innovation, Edited by LV Shavinina. Elsevier Science, Oxford, 2003, pp. 366-376.
- COBB, P., Continuing the Conversation: A Response to Smith. Educational Researcher, Vol. 24(6) , 1995, pp. 25-27.
- COOPER, H., K. JACKSON, B. NYE, J. J. LINDSAY, A Model of Homework on the Performance Evaluations of Elementary School Students. The Journal of Experimental Education, Vol. 69(2), 2001, pp. 181-199.
- DERRY, S. J., A Fish Called Peer Learning: Searching for Common Themes. In O’Donnell, A.M. & King, A. (Eds.), Cognitive perspectives on peer learning. Lawrence Erlbaum. Mahwah, NJ, 1999, pp. 197-211.
- DUGOSH, K. L., P. B. PAULUS, E. J. ROLAND, H.-C. YANG, Cognitive Stimulation in Brainstorming. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 79(5), 2000, pp. 722-735.
- EDWARDS, A., Researching Pedagogy: a Sociocultural Agenda. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, Vol. 9(2), 2001, pp. 161-186.
- GREDLER, M. E., Learning and Instruction: Theory into Practice (3rd ed). Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1997.
- GRISSON, F., D. PRESSMAN, The Inventor’s Notebook. 3rd Edition, Nolo, 2000.
- GUILFORD, J. P., Creativity. American Psychologist, Vol. 5(9), 1950, pp. 444-454.
- GUNNARSDOTTIR, R., Research in Innovation Education: Socio-Cultural Methods for Research and Analysis for Defining Educational Phenomenon. Visions on Sloyd and Sloyd Education. Techno Series: Research in Sloyd Education and crafts science B, Vol. 10(1), Vasa, 2001b, pp. 65-104.
- HILEY, A., A. COLLIS, J.A. WILSON, Through the Wardrobe: a Generic Platform to Foster the Evolution of Creative Problem-solving Skills. International Conference on Creativity or Conformity: Building Cultures of Creativity in Higher Education, Cardiff, Wales, UK, 2007.
- HOOVER-DEMPSEY, K. V., A. C. BATTIATO, J. M. T. WALKER, R. P. REED, J. M. DEJONG, K. P. JONES, Parental Involvement in Homework. Educational Psychologist, Vol. 36(3), 2001, pp. 195-209.
- HUTCHISON, C. B., Cultural Constructivism: The Confluence of Cognition, Knowledge Creation, Multiculturalism, and Teaching. Intercultural Education, Vol. 17(3), 2006, pp. 301-310.
- JACKSON, R., J. KARP, E. PATRICK, A. THROWER, 2006, Social Constructivism Vignette. (Retrieved 5. April, 2008) from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Social_Constructivism
- JAY, E. S., D. N. PERKINS, Problem Finding: The Search for Mechanism. In Runco M.A. (Ed.) The creativity research handbook. Hampton Press, New Jersey, 1997, pp. 257-293.
- JONASSEN, D., Integration of Problem Solving into Instructional Design. In R. Reiser & J. Dempsey (Eds.) Trends and issues in instructional design and technology, Merrill/Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002.
- LAREY, T. S., P. B. PAULUS, Group Preference and Convergent Tendencies in Small Groups: A Content Analysis of Group brainstorming performance. Creativity Research Journal, Vol. 12(3), 1999, pp. 175-185.
- LUCKIN, R., J. AKASS, J. COOK, P. DAY, N. ECCLESFIELD, F. GARNETT, M. GOULD, T. HAMILTON, A. WHITWORTH, Learner-Generated Contexts: Sustainable Learning Pathways Through Open Content. OpenLearn 2007 – Researching Open Content in Education. Open University, Milton Keynes, 2007, pp. 30-31.
- MCCARTHEY, S. J., Home-school Connections: A Review of the Literature. The Journal of Educational Research, Vol. 99(3), 2000, pp. 145-167.
- MCMAHON, M., Social Constructivism and the World Wide Web – A Paradigm for Learning. ASCILITE Conference 1997. Perth, Australia.
- PAULUS, P. B., K. L. DUGOSH, M. T. DZINDOLET, H. COSKUN, V. L. PUTMAN, Social and Cognitive Influences in Group Brainstorming: Predicting Production Gains and Losses. European Review of Social Psychology, Vol. 12(1), 2002, pp. 299-325.
- RUNCO, M. A., Creativity: Theories and Themes: Research, Development, and Practice. Elsevier Academic Press, Amsterdam, 2007.
- RUNCO, M. A., G. DOW, Problem Finding. In Runco, M. A. and Pritzker, S.R. (Eds) Encyclopedia of Creativity, Vol. 2. Academic Press, San Diego, 1999, pp. 433-435.
- SHOTTER, J., Cultural Politics of Everyday Life. Open University Press, Buckingham, 1993.
- SMITH, G.F., Towards a Logic of Innovation. The International Handbook on Innovation. Elsevier Science Ltd, 2003.
- The Webster Dictionary, 2005, (Retrieved 7. Des. 2010).http://www.m-w.com/.
- THORSTEINSON, G., Innovation and Practical Use of Knowledge. DATA International Research Conference 2002. The Design and Technology Association (eds) Norman, Spendlove and Grover, 2002, pp. 177-183.
- THORSTEINSSON, G., H. G. DENTON, Ideation in a Virtual Learning Environment: A Pilot Project from Iceland in Innovation Education. In Norman, E.W.L., Spendlove, D. and Owen-Jackson, G. (Eds), The Design and Technology Association International Research Conference book 2006. Telford, July 2006, The Design and Technology Association, Wellesbourne, pp. 155-164.
- THORSTEINSSON, G., Innovation in the Elementary School. Uppeldi Vol. 6(1), 1998, pp. 14-148.
- THORSTEINSSON, G., T. PAGE, A. NICULESCU, Using Virtual Reality for Developing Design Communication, Studies in Informatics and Control, Vol. 19(1), 2010, ISBN 1220-1766, pp. 93-106.
- THORSTEINSSON, G., T. PAGE, M. LEHTONEN, A. NICULESCU, Innovative Technology Education in a Virtual Reality Learning Environment, Studies in Informatics and Control, Vol. 16 (3), 2007, ISBN 1220-1766, pp. 297-306.
- VIDAL, R. V. V., FRI&FRO – et fremtidsvæksted. (in Danish) unpublished, IMM, DTU, Denmark, 2006, pp. 22.
- VYGOTSKY, L.S., Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1978.
- WENGER, E. 2005, Communities of Practice A Brief Introduction. Retrieved (28 Mar. 2009) from http://www.ewenger.com/theory/communities_of_practice_intro_WRD.doc.